Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
53 and frozen
Old 05-28-2013, 07:39 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 8
53 and frozen

Hi,

I've been lurking here for awhile. In 2009, my dear mother passed away and left me with a sizeable inheritance. All told, my current net worth is a bit over $3 million. I have no debt, own my home outright and live on a modest federal government salary. The only reason I haven't made the leap to ER is the low cost health insurance I could carry into retirement (if things stay the way they are).

The problem is that I'm unhappy where I work. I could retire in early 2016, with a reduced pension and keep the health insurance. Or....I could plan my escape, work part time (self-employed), and see what the exchanges bring in October.

The only two things I have decided are (1) that I will not retire until at least year end, and (2) I need to sit down with a financial planner and determine the best AA for me. I didn't want to do anything rash with such a large windfall so I've been sitting on an extremely large cash position and that just will not do.

So I am asking, if there is anyone reading this who thinks I should work another 2 years and 7 months just to keep the health insurance? My mother was quite frugal and the thought of spending more on health insurance than I might need to, might cause her to roll over in her grave.

The question is, do I live for her memory, or live for me?

Thanks in advance for your input.
__________________

__________________
seagypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-28-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,434
If I were in your situation I would have a talk with Vanguard and have them do a financial plan for you including projected health care costs in the analysis.

Beyond that you'll have a tough decision to make but I suspect as much as your mother would dislike spending more on health insurance, she also would not want you to toil away in a job that makes you unhappy.
__________________

__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 08:04 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 136
Seagypsy, I'd give Bill Schultheis a call. He and his team are awesome!
__________________
serie1926 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,379
Interesting question, Sea. Reading between the lines on what you posted, I believe you can and should be able to do both. You appear to already have adopted many of your mother's traits. Have you checked out some of the links in the health forum showing some of the preliminary rates? They don't appear to be prohibitively expensive. You already will have a pension. Unless you drastically change your lifestyle, it doesn't appear you will fritter away her wealth she bestowed to you. Being unhappy in your job is not a question of frugalness, but of happiness. I would think her gift to you is an expression of her wanting you to be happy.
As a side note, I had a recent conversation with my father who is very frugal and has accumulated close to 7 figures without ever having made more than 50k a year. I tried to convince him to spend some of it on himself as all the siblings may just blow all the money he worked so hard for. His answer amused me... "Well I hope everyone will get as much enjoyment spending it, as I did saving it"....
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,608
With $3MM in net worth, comfortably multiples of my own goal, I wouldn't wait for the health insurance unless you have some significant pre-existing condition that's makes it problematic for you.
__________________
growing_older is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
Welcome seagypsy. I see you live in New York. If that is NYC, your cost of living must be quite high. Assuming you plan to stay in NYC, what will your expenses be in ER? Are you interested in moving to a lower cost area?

$3m is a substantial sum of money but if you live in an expensive area, it might not sustain you without a pension. I think it's really important to get a financial plan in place, organize your asset allocation, and get a handle on your current and projected expenses before you take any irreversible steps. If you haven't already, run your numbers through FireCalc and other retirement calculators.

It's also important to prepare for the nonfinancial side of ER. Do you have interests and social connections that will carry forward into ER? My personal approach to this would be to take the next year, at least, to get everything in place before making a decision. If your j*b is not toxic, I would probably hang in there for the health insurance. Two years and 7 months is not a long time. When you are FI, you can ignore a lot of the BS that goes on in the w*rkplace.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 08:52 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
.....As a side note, I had a recent conversation with my father who is very frugal and has accumulated close to 7 figures without ever having made more than 50k a year. I tried to convince him to spend some of it on himself as all the siblings may just blow all the money he worked so hard for. His answer amused me... "Well I hope everyone will get as much enjoyment spending it, as I did saving it"....
Good one.

What better use of money could you possibly have than to make yourself happy by ERing early. I am sure your Mother would approve. Other suggestions that were posted are pretty good, too (IMHO).
__________________
Free to canoe
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
seagypsy,

Welcome aboard.

We've got some federal retirees on this board. Perhaps they'll be posting here soon.

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,887
Hi there,

My thought is to hang in there, unless you are so wretched that it's affecting the way you live and behave. (E.G. depression, losing your temper often, and so on). That is just my doggedness speaking, though. Not only would I hate to lose the health insurance, but you must have worked for quite a while to qualify for even a reduced pension, which is almost in your grasp.

Is there any chance you can switch to a different office/task set? That's what I do when a job situation gets unbearable. I have a strong set of generalist skills which can be - and have been - applied almost anywhere in my business. I find the "new learning" stage of each job to be the most fun. Then there is the contribution phase, and finally, the "BS is getting heavy" stage which prompts me to look for something new :-)

Definitely ponder and learn all you can about AA. There is much to be learned about AA on this forum, such as that your pension is almost like a "bond," which could allow you to be a little riskier with your inheritance money. Since you're mostly in cash right now, you likely won't incur the complicated tax issues that dissuade some of us from rebalancing our money that was invested long ago when we knew zip.

Good luck,

Amethyst
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 10:14 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,708
Quote:
Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
Hi,

I've been lurking here for awhile. In 2009, my dear mother passed away and left me with a sizeable inheritance. All told, my current net worth is a bit over $3 million. I have no debt, own my home outright and live on a modest federal government salary. The only reason I haven't made the leap to ER is the low cost health insurance I could carry into retirement (if things stay the way they are).

The problem is that I'm unhappy where I work. I could retire in early 2016, with a reduced pension and keep the health insurance. Or....I could plan my escape, work part time (self-employed), and see what the exchanges bring in October.

The only two things I have decided are (1) that I will not retire until at least year end, and (2) I need to sit down with a financial planner and determine the best AA for me. I didn't want to do anything rash with such a large windfall so I've been sitting on an extremely large cash position and that just will not do.

So I am asking, if there is anyone reading this who thinks I should work another 2 years and 7 months just to keep the health insurance? My mother was quite frugal and the thought of spending more on health insurance than I might need to, might cause her to roll over in her grave.

The question is, do I live for her memory, or live for me?

Thanks in advance for your input.
It sounds like once you get a few decisions made, things will begin to fall into place. Many people are unhappy in their jobs, and many are unhappy out of their jobs. Will you be able to make retirement work for you? By this I mean are you running away from one set of problems at work? I've worked with a lot of civilian employees of gov't, and I know the macro picture is quite stressful for all involved. If there are job problems, though, I'd start applying elsewhere in civil service.

If it were me, I'd tough out the 2 years 7 months, and greatfully accept the health insurance. However, you are the best judge of whether staying on the job for even a little while longer would severely impact your health and well being.

Wish you well...
__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 10:30 PM   #11
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 8
Thanks to all of you for your input. While I currently live in New York, I will escape to northwestern Washington state. Due to budget constraints, there are no other jobs which would satisfy my needs within the federal government. Alas, this was my second career (accounting after finance - but not a CPA), and I only have 11 years in federal service, so my pension will be quite small. We're talking $1,000/month kind of pension! In any case, I'm not an impulsive person, and don't throw away money. I drive my cars until they die, and only occasionally, treat myself to something special. I'm content in every area of my life except the darn job. I think first I will get my financial house in order and perhaps things will become clearer within the next six months.
__________________
seagypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 10:43 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
hakuna matata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Small town outside of Seattle
Posts: 444
Come on up to the NW--you will love it! My wife is in a similar position, she has about 17 months to go to get her pension and the insurance. She can't afford to lose her insurance and the pension is a cog in our retirement plans. So although we have hit our FI number we both are working that additional 16-17 months to get her pension. Good luck it is a tough decision for sure.
__________________
hakuna matata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 10:48 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,399
How old are you? I see now that you are apparently 53.

How much do you spend per year?

My first thought is that unless you are quite young or you have very high yearly spending, that you should be fine retiring at the start of 2014 and buying insurance on the exchange
. I see now that you are 53 which isn't exactly quite young but isn't 60 either.

Which leads me to:

Have you run any type of retirement calculator such as Firecalc?

I assume you are single and support no one other than yourself?

In the "old" days (before the Affordable Care Act), I would have said to perhaps wait to qualify for health insurance before leaping (although I could see even then leaping if you applied for health insurance and found out you could get it before you actually retired). With the ACA, I wouldn't be that worried about the health insurance part of it and wouldn't feel I needed to wait for that reason. I would run a calculator (or get professional advice) or two or three.
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 10:51 PM   #14
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,158
Welcome, seagypsy!

I am in the camp with those who say to take your time. With $3MM in assets you can get a lot of analysis and planning help for $0 from Vanguard (for example).

There are many threads related to the "how did you decide when to ER" topic here, so peruse them for ideas and start to develop a list of what you need to have in place before you ER.

From personal experience, once you start working through this, the answer becomes clear (or at least clearer). Good luck!
__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 11:24 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,250
2 years and 7 months. Hang in there for the health insurance unless you believe you won't make it to 65. When I started counting down the days, I had about as much time as you do, at two and a half years, give or take. At the end of the day, we had a market meltdown and an insufficient second string in my megacorp, so I ended up staying 6 years from the start of my countdown. I'm glad I did. Financially I'm much more comfortable. I wish I could have done better with the succession panning, but it is what it is. I don't have the healthcare support that you will have in 2yr7mo, but what I was able to add to the portfolio with my extra years takes care of that.

R
__________________
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 11:28 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,333
I believe it was Steve Jobs who said something to this effect:

Don't waste your life living somebody else's life.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 09:17 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Live And Learn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Posts: 1,689
Hi there. I think your mother would want you to be happy, regardless of anything else. Being friviolous might make her unhappy - but spending money on healthcare is not frivolous. Once you get the financial analsys you can determine how much you can spend, or how much you might have of the portfolio if you retired today versus later. Take a look at the projected remaining nest eggs that are projected at age 90 or 95 - I suspect there might have a good chance of having a substantial nestegg to leave to heirs / charities / etc which might help you make your decision easier.
__________________
"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." ~
Hebrews 12:11

ER'd in June 2015 at age 52. Initial WR 3%. 50/40/10 (Equity/Bond/Short Term) AA.
Live And Learn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 09:47 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Brett_Cameron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Eastern USA
Posts: 1,010
You did not say if your home is included in your net worth and what fraction of your net worth your home represents. It would make a difference in what you may do.
__________________
All that glitters is not gold. -G. Chaucer, W. Shakespeare
All that is gold does not glitter. -J.R.R. Tolkien
Brett_Cameron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 10:04 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JoeWras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett_Cameron View Post
You did not say if your home is included in your net worth and what fraction of your net worth your home represents. It would make a difference in what you may do.
Agree.

And also current expenses (high cost area or low cost?)

I'd stick it out. Health insurance is the one thing keeping me and DW in OMY syndrome. We'll get some benefit from her. I have none. The federal plan from what I've read here is great in comparison. Even with ACA, the inflation of costs is scaring the daylights out of me.

So, you are only talking 2 years. You hate your job. Take ALL vacation. I think you may get sick time? If so, get "sick" occasionally. Volunteer for unpaid leave if they give it or force it on you, etc.

I'm kind of doing that now. I don't get sick time, but I'm taking every last second of vacation time. No more letting it evaporate and falling on my sword for Megacorp.
__________________
JoeWras is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,379
Quote:
Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
Thanks to all of you for your input. While I currently live in New York, I will escape to northwestern Washington state. Due to budget constraints, there are no other jobs which would satisfy my needs within the federal government. Alas, this was my second career (accounting after finance - but not a CPA), and I only have 11 years in federal service, so my pension will be quite small. We're talking $1,000/month kind of pension! In any case, I'm not an impulsive person, and don't throw away money. I drive my cars until they die, and only occasionally, treat myself to something special. I'm content in every area of my life except the darn job. I think first I will get my financial house in order and perhaps things will become clearer within the next six months.
Certainly is a personal decision. The best advise given has been from yourself, by thinking it through the next 6 months. I left money on the table. I have a nice pension, but I went out 3 years prior to maximizing it. I could have retired this year, and had $15k more a year, but I have no regrets as I have enjoyed these past 3 years and hopefully many more.
If you are as frugal as you appear to be, I don't see how staying or retiring is really going to matter that much to you financially unless you have other goals for the inheritance. This is not a suggestion or even advise, but me just thinking out loud on how much 3 million is. If you put the whole amount in the 30 yr US treasury bond at current approx. 3.28% yield, you would receive almost 100k in interest alone in addition to your pension, and then SS the following 10 years. It would appear no matter what choice you take, you should be set financially with the principal of your money mostly intact throughout your life.
__________________

__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:15 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.